Thu, 23 Sept | The Anglo-Omani Society

Talk: East of Suez - The UK's Defence Hub at Duqm

Contact Neil Fawcett - neil.fawcett@btinternet.com
Talk: East of Suez - The UK's Defence Hub at Duqm

Time & Location

23 Sept, 17:00
The Anglo-Omani Society, 34 Sackville St, London W1S 3ED, UK

About The Event

This is the first in what we intend to be a series of talks arranged by the Association and held by kind permission of the Anglo-Omani Society at their premises in Sackville St.  Members are invited to gather at Sackville St from 17:00 with the talk commencing at 18:00 and expected to end after questions at about 19:00.

Members of the SAF Association are invited to signal their intention to attend the talk by emailing Neil Fawcett - neil.fawcett@btinternet.com - by 20 August 2021, after which the event will be opened to members of the AOS.

Colonel (Retired) David Bennett was commissioned into the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s) in 1984, serving in Germany, Cyprus, the Falkland Islands, Bosnia, Northern Ireland and Canada. In 2003 he conducted the In Theatre Training for 1st Armoured Division in Kuwait and entered Iraq with the GOC’s Tactical HQ. After command of the Armoured Fighting Vehicle Gunnery School in Lulworth he deployed to Afghanistan as Chief Operations in HQ ISAF. On promotion to Colonel in 2009 he deployed again to HQ ISAF as Executive Officer to DCOS Operations, a US 2* General. The last 9 years of his military career were spent in Defence Engagement roles in the Middle East, firstly as Director of Studies at the Staff College in Kuwait and then Chief Directing Staff responsible for establishing a new Staff College in Qatar. In 2016 he was selected as the Defence Hub Duqm Liaison Officer, charged with creating a permanent UK presence in Oman centred on the Port of Duqm from which to conduct training, operations and logistic support. He left the Army in 2019 and is now the Director of the Stansted Park Foundation, a charitable Estate in West Sussex.

His presentation entitled “East of Suez – the UK’s Defence Hub at Duqm” will examine the strategic drivers behind the creation of the Defence Hub as an integrated joint enabling facility. He will describe his experiences of being launched by the UK MOD to Oman to conduct liaison with several Government Ministries, the Sultan’s Armed Forces as well as civilian entities and commercial companies. As the UK’s latest manifestation of its strategic commitment to Oman and the Gulf region, he will outline how Exercise SAIF SAREEA 3 was used as a proof of concept to confirm that Duqm could be the plinth on which strategic presence could be based. He will also highlight his quest to identify a new and challenging desert Training Area at Ras Madrakah and how it was used for the first time in conjunction with the Sultan’s Armed Forces. He will look forward to the future opportunities for combined and joint training as well as examining what Duqm signifies for the UK’s bilateral relationship with Oman and our regional influence.